January 26, 2016
Technology trends put People First—Accenture Technology Vision 2016
By: Paul Daugherty

Success in the digital economy requires equal emphasis on
digital strategies and technologies that enable people to work digitally, too.

As the pace of technology change accelerates at an unprecedented rate, the winning strategy of leading enterprises will be a People First approach. That’s the key finding of our Accenture Technology Vision 2016 and the underlying theme of the five new IT trends that are critical to success in the digital age.

Technology innovations are bringing amazing opportunities to enable people—workers, customers and business partners—with new capabilities they’ve never had before. But these will remain opportunities only—not business results—if leaders do not take more balanced approach that puts people front and center.

We surveyed 3,200 business and IT executives as part of our Vision research this year.  Digital already has, and will continue to, have a major influence the marketplace. Thirty-three percent of the global economy is currently impacted by digital in some regard, and the majority (86 percent) of executives say that technology change will increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate in their industry over the next three years. 

While exhilarating, the future of technology is also overwhelming for many executives who are overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping pace with technology change and keeping up with the competition.  Essentially they find themselves in a state of “digital culture shock,” and it’s preventing them from moving ahead and changing quickly enough to stay relevant.   

To overcome this state, enterprise in multiple industries must not only shape their future strategies and processes through emerging technology, but also enable their people to use these digital technologies.  They must apply technology to help their employees constantly learn new skills, adopt more agile ways of working, create new solutions and be ready to disrupt.  

Succeeding in the digital economy will require enterprises to evolve their organizations and corporate cultures to flex rapidly. Technology innovation will become the solution—offering new ways to invest in people’s development, manage them and help them embrace change. 

Our Accenture Technology Vision provides the roadmaps companies need to succeed.  We highlight five tech trends that will allow companies to win by putting People First :

  1. Intelligent Automation—Powered by artificial intelligence, the next wave of solutions will weave systems, data and people together—creating solutions that fundamentally change the organization, as well as what it does and how it does it.

  2. Liquid Workforce—Companies need to do more than invest in the right technologies to keep pace in the digital era. They need to harness these technologies to enable the right people to do the right things in an adaptable, change-ready and responsive workforce.

  3. Platform Economy—Technology-enabled, platform-driven ecosystems are taking shape across industries. The next step is creating the adaptable, scalable and interconnected platform economy that underpins success in an ecosystem-based digital economy.

  4. Predictable Disruption—Few businesses grasp how dramatic the changes arising from new platform-based ecosystems will be. Studying these trajectories will provide the fodder to anticipate how whole industries and economic segments will be redefined.

  5. Digital Trust—Businesses cannot share and use the data that underpins their operations without trust. The most advanced security systems today go well beyond establishing perimeter security and incorporate a powerful commitment to the highest ethical standards for data.

As these IT trends demonstrate, leveraging the power of a digital business is no longer simply about incorporating technology into the organization. It’s about reinventing the organization—and the culture within it—to drive innovation, to drive change, to drive the business into the next generation.

How will your enterprise put People First?   

To learn more about this year’s Accenture Technology Vision, I invite you to read the chapter highlights, check out a range of informative at-a-glance visuals, view our videos and slide shares, and keep checking this blog for more discussion of these trends.

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